Another El Classico. Another loss. I won’t even begin to try and verbalize what I’m feeling because, well, it would all be whining and swearing and I don’t want that on my blog (I don’t mind having it on my Facebook page, though). But heartbreak aside, I still am able to string some coherent thoughts together, post El Classico:
- Yey for the live telecast of the match on AKTV! I have always complained about the pathetic state of football coverage in the country but a few days ago I received the very welcome news that a local cable channel was going to telecast the game LIVE! There was no longer a need to go all the way to a pub in Makati in the wee hours of the morning just to watch the match. And apart from the mere convenience of being able to watch a 5am match in the comforts of your own home, AKTV’s coverage also means that matches from the best leagues in the world will now be more accessible to the growing football fan base in the Philippines. Yey for that!
- That being said, AKTV commentators need to get their acts together! It’s frustrating watching such a high-profile, crucial match between arguably the two best clubs in the world, and the commentators can’t even get the players straight. At one point, they said Gonzalo Higuaín was Kaka, even after the replay showed it was clearly Pipita. I guess you could say that that was forgivable, given that you could mix up players in the heat of the match and because, you know, they were two white guys with dark hair. But they also mistook Gerard Piqué for Eric Abidal. But Piqué looks like this, and Abidal looks like this. How do you mix those players up? Also, they kept insisting that the last El Classico result was a 5-0 win to Barcelona. Ummm. No. THat wasn’t even the last league match between the two, much less in all competitions. There have been SIX other RMCF-FCB matches since that 5-0 result. One La Liga match, the Copa del Rey final, two Champions League semifinals and two Supercopa matches. SIX. These are facts, and a 10 year old can easily Google them in 10 seconds flat. Why the hell can’t professional commentators, whose JOB it is do actually research these facts, who could be assumed to be experts on the sport they are commentating on, do the same?
- I know we lost, but I still have to say this… I liked the way Real Madrid played. I’m no tactical expert, and I really won’t be able to properly explain what was different in Mourinho’s strategies in this game and the previous El Classicos but… I enjoyed this style of play more than the ultra-defensive, hard tackling approach they took in last season’s maddening series of matches against Barcelona. With this match, I didn’t feel a little ashamed of my team, I didn’t feel the need to defend their tactics and, more importantly, there was none of the ugly backlash that followed some of last season’s matches. Last season, I felt like we had to resort to that cynical approach because we knew we couldn’t beat Barca playing how we usually played. But in this match, it didn’t feel like that at all. And for a while there, I felt like we were matching Barcelona, we were playing how we wanted to play (albeit the execution wasn’t perfect). And despite the result, that was still encouraging. Which brings me to my final point…
- I must keep telling myself, all is not lost. Real Madrid, after all, still have a game in hand and a win next weekend will get us back on top of the standings. With the exception of this match, of course, the team has been playing exceptional football, and have only been beaten once in 16 outings. The end of the season is a long way ahead, we’re effectively still in the lead, and Barca are still the ones who need to catch up to us, not the other way around. It would be ridiculous to think that the season (well, the league, at least) has been decided in this morning’s game. I must remember that, all Madridista must.